Since Spring Training the Los Angeles Dodgers have faced one hurdle after another in their starting rotation. Most recently, Alex Wood was lost for at least four weeks due to a posterior impingement in his left elbow.
The Dodgers did receive some positive news as Brett Anderson begun to play catch nearly three months to the day from undergoing back surgery for a bulging disk. Anderson was projected to miss three to five months from the time of the operation.
With Anderson still far from returning, and Hyun-Jin Ryu having his rehab reset due to shoulder soreness, Brandon McCarthy was left in the spotlight. As expected, he threw a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
Among the batters McCarthy faced over his three innings of work were Yasiel Puig and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
Shortly after complete the session, Roberts said McCarthy begin his rehab assignment within the week, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
Roberts said McCarthy's first rehab game will be within 5-6 days.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) June 6, 2016
McCarthy underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2015, and hoped he’d make a couple of starts prior to the 2016 All-Star Game. That figures to be an uphill battle at this point as the right-hander is expected to make five rehab starts, which was the same outline for Ryu.
On top of simply being pressed for time, McCarthy would need to advance through the outings without any issues, which is far from a guarantee for a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. McCarthy went 3-0 with a 5.87 ERA over four starts before missing the remainder of the season.
He signed a four-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers in December 2014. Roberts said on Tuesday a decision on where McCarthy will begin his rehab assignment had not yet been made.